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Excel 2010 New Features
Illustration by Neil Webb
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Formatting math equations with the improved equation tools


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Excel 2010 New Features

with Bob Flisser

Video: Formatting math equations with the improved equation tools

What we're going to look at in this movie will make you very happy if you work with applied math, like economics, statistics, engineering, maybe physics. Excel now has the ability to create beautifully-formatted equations with all the symbols you know and love, like integrals, sums, radicals, matrices and so on. Just keep in mind that Excel isn't actually going to solve the equations - that's your job - but it will make them look nice on the page. Also, just to let you know that the equations are built on MathML, which is an application of XML, and you might be familiar with XML, if you ever do any web development.

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Excel 2010 New Features
1h 51m Appropriate for all May 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Excel 2010 New Features author Bob Flisser demonstrates the powerful new characteristics and capabilities in Excel 2010. This course covers Excel's Backstage view, improved sharing and collaboration capabilities, its graphics features, and enhanced data analysis and visualization tools. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the Slicer feature for dynamic PivotTable filtering
  • Sharing workbooks via e-mail, the Excel Web App, and SharePoint
  • Using Paste Preview for more effecient copying and pasting
  • Inserting Sparklines to see patterns in data
  • Taking advantage of enhancements to the Conditional Formatting feature
  • Analyzing data from multiple sources using the PowerPivot for Excel add-in
  • Maintaining file compatibility with older versions
Subject:
Business
Software:
Excel
Author:
Bob Flisser

Formatting math equations with the improved equation tools

What we're going to look at in this movie will make you very happy if you work with applied math, like economics, statistics, engineering, maybe physics. Excel now has the ability to create beautifully-formatted equations with all the symbols you know and love, like integrals, sums, radicals, matrices and so on. Just keep in mind that Excel isn't actually going to solve the equations - that's your job - but it will make them look nice on the page. Also, just to let you know that the equations are built on MathML, which is an application of XML, and you might be familiar with XML, if you ever do any web development.

If not, don't worry about it. So let's just scroll down here. This is an example of the Lorentz Transformation, which has to do with speed close to the speed of light, but let's ignore that for now. Equations are things that we insert. So let's go to the Insert tab, go over here to Equations, towards the end, and just click the down arrow, and here are some pre-made equations. So if you need to insert the Binomial Theorem, you can just click that. You see it comes up kind of tiny, so you might need to stretch it out in order to make it a little more visible. I'll just move that over here, and I'll show you maybe one or two others.

I'll go up to the Insert tab, click the down arrow here, and let's say maybe Expansion of a Sum. It's kind of a common equation. Again, this goes in kind of tiny, so you might need to stretch it out to make it look right. Now, if that's all you need to do, well that's great, but I'm going to show you how to build an equation from scratch. So let's just delete that. We'll click in here and just select that and delete it, now let's go down maybe over here. So go back to the Insert tab, and this time instead of clicking the down arrow, click the pi itself, and here you have all kinds of great stuff. Here are symbols.

If you just need to insert specific math symbols, you have that. Let me just close that. You have fractions, you have superscripts, you have radicals, you have integrals, and notice you have even doubles, and triples, you have volumes, large operators, brackets. I'll show you some things with brackets and matrices later. You have some logarithmic functions, and accents here and various types of operators and matrices of different dimensions. We'll use some of those. We have this box that says Type equation here; let's just move this down underneath it.

I'm going to stretch it out. And right now, it's just the box that's selected, so you only have the Drawing tools and Format tab there, but click on where it says Type equation here, and now you see how the Equations tools show up. So now click it; now we can start typing it up. Let's just begin at the beginning over here. We have a 1 x 2 matrix. So I'm going to go over here. Now the thing is if you click on the matrix, you see you have a 1 x 2, but not with brackets. So let's put the brackets in first. So let's go over here. I'll put in a bracket. There's only one item in there.

So I'm going to click this little box. Whenever you see this little dotted box, that's what will be replaced when you choose something else. So I need a 1 x 2, so I'm going to go over here, scroll up, and I'll choose 1 x 2. We have T prime and Z prime. So that's Time and the Z axis, but we need a script. So I'm going to leave that selected. Click this one here. So now I can put in my T, and for Prime I'm just going to type in an apostrophe, and it italicizes it, and over here I need the Z axis, so the same thing.

I'll put in a Z, and I'll type in my apostrophe. Now, I need an equal sign. I'll click to the right of the bracket. But notice what happens; Excel kind of thinks that we're no longer editing the equation. You see the tab is removed. So you have to go back to the Insert tab and then click on the pi again. That's just something that happens every so often. Now, I'll type the space, and I'm going to click on Equal sign up here, and I click that equal sign rather than typing it on the keyboard because it's just a little bit bigger. I'll type another space. Now, I need a fraction. You see we have an inverse.

So I'm going to go up to Fraction, and this is what's called a Stacked Fraction. This is kind of a big fraction. So I'll go over here, and I'll put in my 1. Now, the denominator needs to be a radical. So I am going to select that, put in a radical, and click on the box, and I'll say 1 minus. Now I need a smaller fraction in here. So when I go back to Fraction, instead of this big Stacked Fraction, I'm going to choose the Small Fraction over here. So now I need my velocity squared, so I'll choose the script.

So I'll just type in V and my square, and down here on the denominator I need the speed of light squared, so again I'll choose the script, and I can put in my C and my square. Now, I need a 2 x 2 matrix in brackets. So I'll click over there again. You notice the thing disappears. So I'm going to go back to the Insert tab. Click on Equation. Now when I go to Matrix, I need to scroll down a little bit. Here is a 2 x 2 in brackets. I'll just put in the easy numbers first.

So there's 1, and there's a 1, over here we have negative velocity, and over here I need a little fraction. So I'm going to go back here, put in another little fraction, negative velocity, and the numerator, and here I need speed light squared in the denominator, and there we go. So we type that in, and we'll type that in. Finally, I need to match this with a 1 x 2 matrix in brackets. Again, go to the Insert menu; you have to click that again. But when I go to Matrix, you can see that I have, here is a 2 x 2 in brackets.

If I go to Brackets, I have brackets with only one thing in it. So here's what I'll do is I'll go over here, and I'll choose my 2 x 2. But I'm going to click this one here on the right, then right-click it, go to Math Options, and I'm going to Delete Column. So now I have a 1 x 2 in brackets, and now I can simply put in my original; T and Z, and there we go. Deselect it, and there we have the Lorentz Transformation. So if you ever need to have nicely formatted equations, I highly recommend playing around with this.

I hope you have as much fun doing it as I did.

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